While the new AC72 has dominated Emirates Team New Zealand operations for the past few months, the looming America’s Cup World Series AC45 regatta starting in San Francisco next week is a priority for the sailing team.
They leave for San Francisco towards the end of next week; the regatta starts on August 21 and runs through to August 26.
This regatta is the first of the 2012-13 season. A second regatta will be held at San Francisco in October, with regattas in Venice and Naples in April and May next year.
Skipper Dean Barker says the crew is lacking preparation time on the AC45 – the team has only one and it’s in San Francisco – and they have been rather preoccupied with the AC72.
“Oracle must go into this regatta as favourites. They’re at home base so they’ll be familiar with weather and tides and they’ve had a lot of time on the water.
“We will have a few days to practice before the racing starts in San Francisco and we’ll make the most of that.”
Tactician Ray Davies says the 2012-13 season is very important for the team.
“Apart from the obvious goal of going there to win we want to learn as much as we can about the venue for next year.
“We have been on the podium at every ACWS regatta, but this time we’re going for gold.”